Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hive Capsizes

We had some fierce Santa Ana winds kick up after a recent 1-day rainstorm, and it appears one of my hives was a bit top-heavy and took a dive.

Here's a view from the side. Everything was scattered pretty badly, and the robbing was intense due to one free-standing comb full of fresh honey. I had forgotten I left an empty space about 3 frames wide in one of the supers, and they'd made a beautiful comb.

Turns out they had moved their brood-rearing activities up into the middle hive body, leaving the entire deep (at the bottom) empty and light. With the brood and honey on top, and no weight below, the winds just toppled the whole thing over. I did my best to put everything back together, although I took that free-standing comb and set it away from the hive, hopefully pulling as many robbers away as possible.

I rearranged by putting the brood chamber (medium hive body) on the bottom, and the deep in the middle. The honey super--- what's left of it, anyway--- is on top.

The fighting at the entrance was a war, so I also put an entrance reducer into play, using the smallest possible opening. The idea is to give the resident hive a fighting chance at defending what's left of its stores. All in all, I don't think the odds are good for this hive's survival, but I'll follow up after a week or so to see how they're doing.